BOSTON (CBS) — The world has some major problems right now. They’re very difficult to solve.
Not included in that long list is how Major League Baseball players and owners can come to an agreement so that the 2020 season can take place in some form. Nevertheless, it appears as though the two sides are doubtful to accomplish that seemingly simple task.
On Wednesday, the owners formally rejected the players’ proposal to play 114 games in 2020. Instead of working to find middle ground, the owners won’t even be sending a counteroffer, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan.
MLB rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter, sources tell The Athletic. The league said it has started talks with owners about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 3, 2020
Major League Baseball made official what was expected since Sunday in formally rejecting the MLB Players Association’s 114-game proposal, sources tell ESPN. MLB is not countering, which brings the possibility of it implementing a 50-game season into play. First: @Ken_Rosenthal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 3, 2020
The 50-game season was the proposal drawn up by owners in an effort to not hold too many games that will purportedly lose money for the owners. The major disagreement in season length is all tied to a much larger disagreement over payment. Players want their prorated salary based on games played, while owners prefer a revenue sharing model to account for the major loss in revenue from not having ticket-buying fans at games.
It’s all basically at an impasse now, and with the clock ticking, Major League Baseball is very much at risk of losing its 2020 season because of squabbling over money.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post said that even those who were optimistic about a deal getting done are now starting to feel as though baseball won’t be happening in 2020.
I have heard greater pessismism today from folks on both sides about MLB launching a season than at any point. People who previously thought the sides would find a way, now expressing at least greater doubt (often more than that).
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) June 3, 2020
So, congratulations to everyone involved in baseball. The world is grappling with a pandemic. The nation is fighting that same virus while also trying to salvage the economy while also dealing with social unrest across the country, and yet baseball players and baseball owners can’t even come close to finding middle ground on reaching a workable solution to playing baseball games.
If the virus and the complications that come with it prevented MLB from getting back on the field, that would be one thing. But if it’s bad faith negotiating from both sides that dooms the 2020 season? That’s actually pathetic.
At this point, even if the two sides miraculously come to some agreement, much damage has already been done in terms of public perception regarding a league and a sport that just does not appear to get it.